The local youth in the local 2887 Rocky Mountain Rangers Royal Canadian Army Cadets Corps program gain education, insight and even chances to travel while they train, volunteer and honour Canada’s armed forces.
Commanding officer Capt. Dale Bachmier says these young cadets (ages 12-19) learn all this and a lot more – and it doesn’t cost them anything to join.
This may be part of of the reason for its substantial growth in membership over the past year or more, along with recognizing all the benefits they get from being a cadet, he notes.
“They get uniforms, they [learn] proper discipline, proper respect – they can actually get paid to go to camps.”
Once cadets are 16 years or older, they are exposed to “excellent opportunities to travel the world” – all paid for by the Royal Canadian Army Cadets [RCAC] organization, he adds.
Bachmier says each year, all the local commanding officers may nominate their most deserving cadets for a chance to go on trips to fabulous places – this year, to explore Chile including mountaineering and kayaking.
“They are trying to get an agreement with other countries so that we can do exchanges with them, and learn their ways and methods of doing the cadet programs.”
He explains that one lucky RCAC cadet also goes to Vimy Ridge on an annual basis, to further educate them on the impacts of the sacrifices of so many serving and fallen soldiers.
“We do have a lot of cadet corps in Canada [with nearby corps] in Williams Lake, 100 Mile, Lillooet – Prince George has three corps.”
While cadets here are based in a smaller community, they also get chances to travel.
The local commander says four years ago, a local cadet was chosen to go to Vimy Ridge.
Other cadets over the past few years have also gone to places where there is no cadet program, including the Cayman Islands, he adds.
“For a few days they worked with the military there, and then they did different things. [The military partners] actually took them out and certified them – got them their diving licence – and they scuba dived.”
Bachmier notes that each year, he approves a local cadet nomination to be sent onto a regional committee that selects the regional cadet names who then sends one for national headquarters to decide who will go.
Cadets have to earn this recommendation as these trips are quite costly to send even one of them, he adds.
“We very much pride ourselves in the discipline and the respect that we teach [our cadets]. Right now, we have got about 37 cadets, and out of those, this year, we only had one who we considered deserving to have his name put forward to go to Chile.”
The captain notes that while this year’s local cadet did not get chosen to go, it took hard work to even earn the local leaders’ nomination.
However, to apply to join the 2887 RCAC is “very simple,” he notes.
“We parade on Thursday nights, 6:30-9 p.m. Basically, [applicants] come down to the corps at the Horse Lake Youth Training Centre [at 5830 Horse Lake Rd.] … and they come in to see our administration officer [for] a quick explanation on the registration paperwork and requirements.”
The commanding officer says he then interviews the applicant along at least one of their parents.
“Not everything is ideal for everybody. So we do an interview and we allow them to come and watch, and see if they want to join before we process the paperwork – and that’s it.”